It can be plainly.... exhausting.
Being sensitive is seriously part of my make up. For as long as I can remember, from my very first memories, I remember being overly sensitive. I remember getting upset when one of my parents told me I was cutting tomatoes wrong. Now, I know some of my sensitivity came from teen age hormones, but most of my issues started long before puberty. I recall easily feeling lonely, hurt, or misunderstood. I had a hard time accepting others really cared about me or really liked me. I felt pretty badly about myself most of the time and this only heightened my sensitivity.
I always admired stronger individuals that never seemed to give two hoots what other people thought about them or could let negative comments roll right off their back and continue on with life. I hated it that one negative comment, one rude remark, one bark of discouragement or one insult or subtle jab would dictate my entire demeanor and often,how I felt about myself.
Along with my hypersensitivity, also came much compassion and understanding of others hurting and a desire to reach out to them and let them know they are SO NOT alone. God prepared me for His purpose at a very young age. I easily hurt for other people. For instance, it would literally break my heart to see people in a restaurant dining alone, especially elderly people. I hated it that they may be feeling lonely and wishing they had someone to eat with and talk to. When I would see a little child being yelled at or mistreated by their parents (even if they were acting naughty) my heart would break as I looked into their little eyes and could feel the sadness and sometimes humiliation.
A few years ago, I was walking through Hy Vee and there was a very elderly gentleman walking ahead of me, very hunched over, walkkng EXTREMELY slow. His nose was dripping down his face and he looked very unkept. He held in his shaking hand, a list of groceries that he needed to get. I could see him struggling to grab milk off the shelf and my heart broke in a million pieces. This poor man needed help and I could not bare to watch him struggle in that way. I walked up to him and asked him if I could help him. He kindly replied, yes, and showed me what he needed. I walked through a few more isles with him and helped him get his groceries and then helped him to the front lanes. The employees took it from there. I will never forget how that elderly gentleman looked, all I could see was my grandpa, Poppy and it crushed me to think of no one helping him.
My sensitivity has it's perks and place, but all in all, it has been a thorn in my side my entire life. I wish I could keep the good parts and kill the bad but that has not seemed to ever really transpire. Though God has helped me immensely in this area of my life, it continues to be a stumbling block for me. God has allowed me to see myself as He sees me, loved unconditionally, unique to the way He chose to design me. I no longer have the issue of feeling unloved or questioning if others really like me. I have found solace in the fact that God has brought MANY wonderful, unconditionally loving people into my life and I never doubt their love or care for me. I can see I have value and purpose and I can see God created me to glorify Him and that.... is enough.
My struggle still lays with allowing other's opinions, unkind words or actions to dictate my mood, my reactions or my action. I want to get to the point where a person could literally walk up to my face and say.... "You know what..... I don't like you.... OR.... you annoy me..... OR..... you are a terrible writer.... OR..... I disagree with everything you stand for.... OR and OR and OR!!" You get it!! And I am completely unshaken! In fact, I can hear their words and my first reaction is not a sinking feeling in my gut and a desire to run and hide, but to smile as I repeat God's truth in my head..... that I am loved with an everlasting love and if God is for me..... who cares who is against me.
I hate my hypersensitivity. I really do. By the grace of God... I am who I am and even though I fight it and sometimes I win and sometimes I lose..... I wait for the day God removes this thorn from my flesh. I pray He takes the bad and leaves the good as I do not desire to become hard and cold hearted as some are that can withstand unkind words or criticism. In the last few years, during the major stressful times around here and in my marriage, I have had that hardened heart creep up on me. I got so worn down by the daily stress and demands I literally became numb to all feeling. I didn't care about anyone else's feelings. I was basically emotionless. I did not care about anyone else's needs and I was so hardened and tired of allowing others to dictate my emotions that a person could say anything to me and I simply didn't care. They could hate me, want to kill me, make fun of me, hurt me, talk about me behind my back and I could not have cared less. That was semi good, but what was bad, is I lost all empathy and compassion as well. I snapped at people more, I responded in sarcastic and unkind ways and did not care how they felt about it.
I don't want to go there. That is not me. That was Missy under extreme stress and emotional trauma and pain. However, I loved that I did not let anyone's negativity, words or actions effect me. That was a wonderful and empowering feeling. They could shoot me down all they wanted.... but I wouldn't fall.... I simply lost the desire to care about what others thought or said. Somewhere out there, there is balance, I am sure of it.
Some day I pray.... God allows me the compassion and empathy I need to help, touch and reach others; while eliminating my struggle with straying fro God's truth and love and allowing others words or actions to dictate my emotions. That will be a beautiful victory!!
Being an overly sensitive person is a daily battle you have to fight to win. What is so remarkable is the thing that God has called me to do as a hypersensitive person..... He has asked me to put myself out there for criticism and negativity in many, many ways. I believe that is the tool He is using to takes this from me but the process can be grueling, but I will remain faithful, that one day, I will wake up and the only voice that will ever matter.....is His.
Peace and Blessings